Academic Program Review
Self-study Guidelines

Approved by the School of Music, 14 November 2000.
Edited for 2007 - 2008 APR, 30 May 2007

A. Strategic Objectives

  1. What are the strategic objectives of the unit/program? What do we wish to look like as a School five years from now? Ten years from now?
  2. To what extent are stated unit/program objectives being met? What is the evidence for these achievements?
  3. How does the unit/program support the mission and objectives of the University and other programs within the University?
  4. How do the School’s strategic objectives complement the key action areas and targets in the University’s Strategic Plan: students; research, creative activity and scholarship; the needs of the province; conditions for success; and institutional responsibility.
  5. Where does the School’s direction diverge from the University’s Strategic Plan?
  6. In light of an anticipated period of faculty renewal, what opportunities exist for the School to evaluate and reset its objectives?
  7. How are the efforts of the unit/program focused upon achieving the level of excellence (provincial, national, international) to which the unit/program aspires?
  8. What mechanism can be established for regular and periodic review of the established objectives?

B. Student Enrollment/Program Outcomes

  1. What are student enrollment trends (in terms of FTE) at each level (undergraduate and graduate)?
  2. What has been the impact of provincial and regional demographic trends in recent years?
  3. What predictors do recent enrolment trends offer for the future; what imperatives do they establish for recruitment?
  4. What policies and procedures are in place to assure optimum student recruitment in terms of numbers of students, quality of students, distribution of students by performance medium and assuring a balanced range of demographic backgrounds to the student body?
  5. How are the university’s general recruitment efforts supportive of the particular recruitment needs of the School of Music?
  6. How effective are the communications devised to serve recruitment?
  7. Is the current range of scholarships and bursaries adequate to sustain the School’s recruitment objectives?
  8. How effectively do the School’s outreach programs (e.g., public concerts, tours, master classes, clinics) support the School’s recruitment objectives?
  9. Are the numbers of students majoring in the programs appropriate given the resources that are committed to the Unit/Program?
  10. Are the numbers of degrees being awarded appropriate given the resources that are committed to the Unit/Program?
  11. Are retention rates satisfactory for the Program?
  12. What is the level of satisfaction among graduates of the Program?
  13. How successfully are students gaining admission to graduate programs or finding post-graduate opportunities in or related to their field of study?
  14. What resources are available to assist the School in maintaining regular, active and effective communications with its alumni?
  15. How effectively does the School involve its alumni in student recruitment?
  16. How effectively does the School involve its alumni in development projects?
  17. How many nontraditional students are enrolling in courses and programs?
  18. How are program outcomes made known to students? How are these outcomes used to revise and strengthen the program?

C. Teaching and Learning: Curriculum

  1. Is the curriculum, as delivered, consistent with stated objectives, calendar descriptions, course requirements, degree requirements and standards for admission?
  2. Is the curriculum consistent with current models of content and delivery for professional B. Mus. programs elsewhere in North America?
  3. If there is curricular overlap between departments, disciplines, and/or programs, how is such overlap justified or appropriate?
  4. Are the partnerships with other academic units being optimized, particularly those with music education, fine arts, folklore and drama?
  5. Are communications with academic partner units efficient and productive?
  6. Is the curriculum relevant to the needs of students and is it sufficiently rigorous and cohesive?
  7. How effective are the faculty as teachers? Is this effectiveness being evaluated using many and various means that are constructive and appropriate to the teaching discipline, particularly in the context of curriculum delivery that is in part somewhat anomalous to the university norm?
  8. Is the curriculum being delivered effectively?
  9. How is the objective of mentoring being met in the delivery of curriculum?
  10. Are work study opportunities being effectively explored and integrated into the curriculum?
  11. Is the curriculum responsive to the needs of students and employers?
  12. Is the School keeping apace with appropriate new developments in technologically assisted teaching and learning?
  13. Do the School and the University provide appropriate access to professional development in pedagogy?
  14. What has been the impact of the presence of graduate students, of graduate teaching and of teaching of undergraduate courses by graduate students since the introduction of these new programs?

D. Research, Creative Activity and Scholarship

  1. How productive are the faculty as researchers/scholars/creative and performing artists?
  2. What is the quality and impact of the scholarly and creative contributions of faculty and professional staff?
  3. Are the faculty appropriately engaged with relevant professional and artistic communities locally, regionally, nationally and internationally?
  4. Where applicable, are the faculty effectively engaged in relationships with business, government, cultural or other relevant communities?
  5. Are the faculty and professional staff active, and recognized, participants in regional, national, and international professional organizations?
  6. Are the faculty generating a level of external grants, commissions and professional contracts appropriate to the discipline?
  7. Is the funding available to the discipline of music sufficient to support and sustain research and creative activity?
  8. Are the contracts and grants received by faculty consistent with the strategic goals of the unit?
  9. Is there a suitable balance of teaching, research or creative work, and service in the workloads of faculty and professional staff?
  10. How are the faculty integrating teaching, research, and service?

E. The School’s Role in the Cultural Milieu

  1. Does the School actively contribute to the cultural life of the region and the province through the cultural programming it generates in its performance facilities?
  2. Does the School effectively complement the fabric of cultural activities in the region and the province?
  3. Does the School provide adequate and constructive support to individuals and organizations from within the regional professional arts community?
  4. Are the School’s facilities appropriately integrated into the network of cultural resources for the region?
  5. Is the School recognized as a leader in the professional arts community within the region and province?

F. Facilities and Equipment

  1. Are the performance, teaching, rehearsal, studio, research, administrative and storage facilities appropriate to the particular needs of the School?
  2. Are the performance, teaching, rehearsal, studio, research, administrative and storage facilities adequate to the current and future needs of the School?
  3. Are the essential facilities needs of students being met?
  4. Are present facilities used optimally throughout the calendar year?
  5. Is the professional support for the supervision of the facilities appropriate and adequate?
  6. Is the security of the facilities appropriate?
  7. Are the equipment resources adequate to the need, particularly in terms of musical instruments, sound recording and playback equipment, and computer-assisted learning equipment?
  8. Is there a regular and realistic schedule for equipment renewal?
  9. Is the equipment maintenance budget adequate?

G. Administrative Support/Efficiency

  1. Is the unit/program receiving appropriate direct resources and support from the University to maintain new levels of activity?
  2. How well are administrative and professional support staff contributing to the academic and strategic goals of the unit/program?
  3. Is the current administrative support structure appropriate to the present and future needs of the School?
  4. How adequate and effective are infrastructural resources and support (e.g., library, promotion and recruitment, media, space) for achieving program goals?
  5. How effectively does promote new initiatives, plans, collegial spirit, and active community involvement?
  6. What major initiatives and improvements should faculty, professional staff, and administrators be taking to enhance the program or unit?

H. Cost Effectiveness

  1. How appropriate are the student/faculty ratios in comparison to those in similar programs elsewhere? Comparison groups should reflect both the situation in Atlantic Canadian University Schools of Music (Mount Allison, Acadia, Moncton, UPEI, Dalhousie and St. Francis Xavier) and the realities in programs of comparable size and focus to ours from across Canada (Wilfrid Laurier, Ottawa, Manitoba, Victoria).
  2. How do the program's costs and ratios relate to the costs of other comparable programs at Memorial and elsewhere?
  3. If applicable, what support is the unit generating from external sources, including an appropriate share of indirect cost recovery? What elements of risk have been introduced through reliances on external funding for the operation of the unit?
  4. How effectively does the unit deploy its resources?

Additional documentation in support of the above should include -

  1. Accreditation Reports, where they address questions from the above list, may be referenced in answer to those questions so as not to duplicate documentation in the Self-Study
  2. Accreditation letters from the past three reviews, if available
  3. Description of undergraduate curricula and programs for majors and non-majors
  4. Statistical data on course enrollments, class size, and number of majors and number of minors
  5. Breakdown of FTE faculty, professionals and salaried staff by rank, function, workload, age, and gender
  6. Information concerning the use of non-faculty instructors (if any) in the unit, whether teaching assistants or supplemental contract holders
  7. A copy of the Statement of University Principles and Goals
  8. Statement from the Librarian on current book holdings, journals and periodicals for the discipline
  9. Statement concerning any proposed changes to the unit's resources and an explanation of these proposed changes
  10. A copy of the unit's budget
  11. Assessment surveys by students and alumni, reports from previous reviews and pertinent information from the strategic plan or any similar exercise

It is important that the self-study achieve a proper balance between details and inclusiveness, and available resources (especially time). The self-study should provide enough information to be useful and understandable by professionals outside the unit, within and outside the University. The self-study should be considered as the central element for the external peer review process.

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